Medical training is recognized as a particularly stressful experience that can affect student well-being and learning. The increased risk of stress-related burnout for medical students is a serious problems that must be addressed to attract and retain a healthy, flourishing medical workforce that can model wellness for their patients. Smartwatches and fitness trackers have the potential to play a significant role in the assessment of well-being across the student body. These devices are equipped with sensors that can collect data on physiological parameters related to heart rate, sleep, and physical activity levels which have been shown to be associated with well-being outcomes. A major goal of the Wearable Wellness Study is to better understand individual and curricular factors in medical school that lead to high levels of stress. The information gained from this study has the potential to inform personal and curricular change and lead to better well-being outcomes.
What Does The Study Involve?
Participants will wear a wearable fitness tracker wristband to track daily activity levels, heart rate, and sleep. Participants will receive a Fitbit Inspire 3™ device and install the device app on their smartphone to allow syncing of the tracker with their smartphone. The app allows participants to view graphs of their physical activity, sleep, heart rate and other metrics collected by the wearable device. Participants will be asked to sync the fitness tracker daily with their phone and wear it continuously throughout the study duration. In addition, participants will be asked to install the MyDataHelps app on their smartphone. The app acts as a tool for consent, initiating wearable data collection, delivery of study questionnaires, automated notifications, and reminders. All collected information is anonymized for privacy protection. A medical student data monitor has oversight over all data collection and analysis and can veto analyses that are against the interest of the student body. Participants will be asked to complete a brief app-based 30 second survey at the end of each day indicating their well-being status, and a 2 minute survey every two weeks. The study runs through the academic year, allowing aggregate mapping of well-being across the medical school curriculum.
Funding Support: American Medical Association